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The BBC's Steve Lee
"A real spanking for the Premiership side"
 real 28k

Saturday, 22 April, 2000, 17:19 GMT 18:19 UK
Hammers tear Blues apart

Paulo Di Canio grabbed two goals
West Ham 5-0 Coventry

A Paolo Di Canio-inspired West Ham tore sorry Coventry apart at Upton Park for the Hammers' biggest win of the season.

Di Canio grabbed two goals - including yet another candidate for goal of the season - with Michael Carrick, Javier Margas and Frederic Kanoute completing the rout.

After the match, Hammers' boss Harry Redknapp described his talented captain Paolo Di Canio as a genius.



Italy must be frightening to watch if Di Canio can't get in the team

West Ham manager Harry Rednapp

He said: "He is a fantastic player. I've seen the PFA nominations - and can you tell me why he's not in the top six?

"He has been absolutely incredible from day one. He is just an absolutely fantastic footballer. Italy must be frightening to watch if he can't get in the team."

Kanoute started up front for West Ham, alongside in-form Paulo Wanchope, while Coventry started their bid for a first away win of the season without Mustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo, both on international duty with Morocco.

The first goal of the afternoon arrived on seven minutes when Di Canio broke from defence on the right and laid the ball square to Carrick.

Rooted to the spot

Hedman was rooted to the spot as he rifled the ball into the bottom right corner of the net from 20 yards, sending Upton Park into raptures.

Number two came when Margas rose highest in the six-yard box to head home his first West Ham goal from Di Canio's corner from the right.

Gary McAllister fired in a speculative effort from 25 yards for the visitors on 16 minutes, but Hammers fans jeered as the ball sailed high over Ian Feuer's crossbar.


Match facts
7 mins - Carrick opens the scoring
14 mins - Margas makes it 2-0
48 mins - Di Canio scores a spectacular third
67 mins - Di Canio gets his second
82 mins - Kanoute heads into an open net

Coventry gave their vocal fans some hope after 24 minutes, when Hammers' defensive uncertainty almost allowed Robbie Keane to sneak-in at the far post, but Margas recovered to clear in the nick of time.

Rio Ferdinand almost stunned Upton Park with a dipping 35-yard volley which Hedman struggled to gather under his crossbar as West Ham looked to increase their lead.

But the fans had to wait until after half-time when Di Canio scored a spectacular third on 48 minutes.

He added his second on 67 minutes and goal number five duly arrived on 82 minutes after a Hedman blooper.

Di Canio chipped in a corner from the left and Hedman flapped under pressure, allowing the ball to bounce at the far post. Kanoute - who had fluffed good chances earlier in the match - nodded into an unguarded net from two yards.

Teams:

West Ham: Feuer, Sinclair, Ferdinand, Stimac, Margas, Minto, Lampard, Carrick, Di Canio, Wanchope, Kanoute. Subs: Bywater, Charles, Moncur, A. Newton, Ruddock.

Coventry: Hedman, Telfer, Breen, Hendry, Burrows, Quinn, Eustace, McAllister, Normann, Whelan, Keane. Subs: Ogrizovic, Shaw, Roussel, Zuniga, Betts.

Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay)

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